Priesthood Blessings
March 2023

“Priesthood Blessings,” Liahona, Mar. 2023.

Gospel Basics

Priesthood Blessings

Christ ordaining the Twelve Apostles

Christ Ordaining the Twelve Apostles, by Harry Anderson

A priesthood blessing is given through inspiration by a Melchizedek Priesthood holder. Priesthood blessings make it possible for all of God’s children to receive His power, healing, comfort, and guidance.

The Priesthood

The priesthood is the power and authority of God. Worthy men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood act in the name of Jesus Christ when they give priesthood blessings. As they give these blessings, they follow the Savior’s example of blessing others.

hands lying on top of a head

Photograph by David Winters

How Blessings Are Given

Priesthood blessings are given by the laying on of hands. A Melchizedek Priesthood holder places his hands on the head of the person receiving the blessing. Then he gives a blessing as the Spirit directs. Those who give blessings and those who receive them exercise faith in God and trust in His will and timing.

Naming and Blessing Children

After a child is born, a priesthood holder gives him or her a name and a blessing (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:70). This usually happens in a fast and testimony meeting. The child is first given a name. Then the priesthood holder gives the child a blessing.

sick boy receiving a priesthood blessing

Blessings for the Sick

Melchizedek Priesthood holders can give blessings to people who are sick. This kind of blessing has two parts: anointing with oil and sealing the anointing. First, a priesthood holder puts a drop of olive oil that has been consecrated, or blessed, on the person’s head and gives a short prayer. Then another priesthood holder seals the anointing and gives the person a blessing as guided by the Holy Ghost.

Blessings of Comfort and Counsel

Melchizedek Priesthood holders can give blessings of comfort and counsel to family members and others who request them. A father who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood can give father’s blessings to his children. These may be especially helpful when children are facing special challenges.

Setting Apart Members to Serve in Callings

When Church members receive callings, they are given a blessing when they are set apart to serve. A priesthood leader blesses them with authority to act in the calling. The priesthood leader also gives them a blessing to help them in their service.

woman reading her patriarchal blessing

Photograph by Shauna Stephenson

Patriarchal Blessings

Every worthy Church member can receive a patriarchal blessing. This blessing gives personal counsel from the Lord. It can provide guidance and comfort throughout a person’s life. It also tells the person’s lineage in the house of Israel. Only an ordained patriarch can give this type of blessing.